George W. Bush Warns Against Domestic Extremism in 9/11 Anniversary Speech Near Shanksville

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Politics|Violent extremists astatine location and overseas ‘are children of the aforesaid foul spirit,’ George W. Bush says successful Pennsylvania.

Sept. 11, 2021, 11:08 a.m. ET

Sept. 11, 2021, 11:08 a.m. ET

Former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, the erstwhile  archetypal  lady, astatine  the Flight 93 National Memorial extracurricular  Shanksville, Pa., connected  Saturday.
Credit...Pete Marovich for The New York Times

Former President George W. Bush commemorated the 20th day of the Sept. 11 violent attacks connected Saturday astatine the Flight 93 National Memorial successful Pennsylvania, recalling a clip of American unity and drafting a crisp opposition with the present-day divisiveness of the country’s politics.

Mr. Bush, who was joined by the erstwhile archetypal lady, Laura Bush, was successful his archetypal twelvemonth arsenic president erstwhile the attacks took place.

“For those excessively young to callback that wide September day, it is hard to picture the premix of feelings we experienced,” Mr. Bush said astatine a ceremonial held astatine the memorial. “There was fearfulness astatine the standard of destruction, and awe astatine the bravery and kindness that roseate to conscionable it. There was daze astatine the audacity of evil, and gratitude for the heroism and decency that opposed it.”

He added that “the actions of an force revealed the tone of a people, and we were arrogant of our wounded nation.”

Recalling however the American radical responded to the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Bush painted a starkly antithetic representation compared with the embittered authorities of the contiguous day.

“In the weeks and months pursuing the 9/11 attacks, I was arrogant to pb an amazing, resilient, agreed people,” helium said, though galore Muslim Americans reported facing heightened favoritism successful the aftermath of the attacks. “When it comes to the unity of America, those days look distant from our own.”

He continued: “Malign unit seems astatine enactment successful our communal beingness that turns each disagreement into an argument, and each statement into a clash of cultures. So overmuch of our authorities has go a bare entreaty to anger, fearfulness and resentment. That leaves america disquieted astir our federation and our aboriginal together.”

“I travel without explanations oregon solutions,” Mr. Bush added. “I tin lone archer you what I’ve seen. On America’s time of proceedings and grief, I saw millions of radical instinctively drawback for a neighbor’s manus and rally to the origin of 1 another. That is the America I know.”

Eight months aft the Capitol was stormed by supporters of President Donald J. Trump, Mr. Bush warned against home extremism, saying that “the dangers to our state tin travel not lone crossed borders but from unit that gathers within.”

“There is small taste overlap betwixt convulsive extremists overseas and convulsive extremists astatine home,” helium continued. “But successful their disdain for pluralism, successful their disregard for quality life, successful their determination to defile nationalist symbols, they are children of the aforesaid foul spirit, and it is our continuing work to face them.”

In his remarks, Mr. Bush paid tribute to the passengers and unit members of Flight 93, which crashed successful a tract aft those connected committee fought backmost against the hijackers and diverted them from their intended target. “Many who are present live beryllium a vast, unconscious indebtedness to the defiance displayed successful the skies supra this field,” helium said.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Bush led the federation into the warfare successful Afghanistan and, later, the warfare successful Iraq. Speaking little than 2 weeks aft the past American troops near Afghanistan, helium acknowledged successful his remarks that subject actions implicit the past 2 decades “have led to debate.”

He offered a connection for veterans, saying they had been “a unit for bully successful the world” and adding, “Nothing that has followed, nothing, tin tarnish your grant oregon diminish your accomplishments.”

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